Thursday, July 01, 2010



From Paul Levine:

“When is Jake Lassiter coming back?”

I get the question at bookstores and Bouchercon, at Thrillerfest and Sleuthfest, at Left Coast Crime, and even my dentist’s office. I might be promoting one of the “Solomon vs. Lord” books, or “Illegal,” but the questions always come back to this:

“Where the heck is Jake?”

I wrote seven Lassiter novels between 1990 and 1997. Since then, I’ve written two stand-alone thrillers, a four-book series, and a bunch of episodes for two CBS-TV dramas. But what everyone wants to talk about is that linebacker-turned-lawyer, a tough guy with a tender heart.

“Jake’s not in jail, is he?”

I don’t think so, but given his conduct in court, maybe he should be.

Truth is, Jake Lassiter lives!

In Fall 2011, “Lassiter” will be out in hardcover from Bantam as Jake searches for a missing woman from his past and becomes entangled in the intertwined worlds of politics and porn. But wait, there’s more:

Jake Lassiter is back in print now!

Or rather, in bytes.

On line.

Just a click away.

I’m talking about e-books. You can start reading the 20th Anniversary edition of “To Speak for the Dead,” in about 90 seconds. An international bestseller, the first Lassiter novel was named one of the best mysteries of the year by the Los Angeles Times and became an NBC World Premiere Movie.

For a limited time, e-book sellers are offering “...Dead” at the astonishing price of $2.99. Right, less than your double mocha latte, which by the way, Jake Lassiter would never drink. (That price may surprise the collector who e-mailed recently that he paid $325 for a signed first edition of “To Speak for the Dead.” Wow. I have a couple cartons in the garage if he wants more).

Now, here’s the best part: All author royalties – 100 per cent – will go to the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports cancer research and treatment at Hershey Children’s Hospital. It’s a cause dear to my heart. The facility, part of Penn State’s College of Medicine, is one of the premier institutions of its kind. Thanks to the Fund, children whose families lack the financial wherewithal receive top-notch medical care.

There’s even more news about Jake. The second book of the Lassiter series, “Night Vision,” is also available as an e-book, as is “9 Scorpions,” a stand-alone legal thriller set at the Supreme Court. In the next several months, all seven Lassiter books will be on Amazon Kindle and the other e-bookselling platforms. So, even if you’re new to the series, there’s time to catch up before the new one hits the stores next year. If you’ve already read the books in the dead-trees format, try them again on your e-reader or right on your desktop or laptop. Here’s a quick look at what’s available now.

TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD – Defending a surgeon in a malpractice case, Jake begins to suspect that his client is innocent of negligence...but guilty of murder. A sexy widow, a robbed grave, and another murder follow. “Move over Scott Turow. ‘To Speak for the Dead’ is courtroom drama at its very best.” – Larry King, USA Today

NIGHT VISION – Jake is appointed a special prosecutor when a serial killer
begins stalking women on a sexually oriented Internet chat site. Enlisting a brilliant woman psychiatrist, Jake wades into a maze of lies and corruption to uncover the murderer. “Sparkles with wit and subtlety.” - Toronto Star

9 Scorpions – Sam Truitt, the newest and youngest justice on the Supreme Court, hires a brilliant and stunning female law clerk, unaware she has a personal stake in a huge case before the court. It’s a story of passion and violence, justice and revenge, in and out of court. “A relentlessly entertaining summer read.” New York Daily News

For more info and to purchase, please visit

Author Paul Levine explains why he has pledged 100% of all royalties to the Four Diamonds Fund for childhood cancer treatment and research.

In the United States today, one in 300 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. All of us have friends or family members who have fought that grueling battle. These days, with great advances in medicine, there’s a increasing chance the fight has been successful.

Yet, progress seems excruciatingly slow for those on the front lines.
A few years ago, one of my dearest friends, the godfather of my son, lost his daughter Margaux to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare but vicious bone cancer. The survival rate for Ewing’s sarcoma that metastasises is a disheartening 10 per cent.

Ten per cent!

In this age of medical miracles, how can that be?

After Margaux’s death at age 14, I dedicated a book to her. Such a feeble gesture. I wanted to do more. Still do. Here’s how.

Twenty years ago this month, my first novel, “To Speak for the Dead,” was published to a decent amount of fanfare. The legal thriller introduced the world to Jake Lassiter, a linebacker-turned-lawyer who seeks justice but seldom finds it. The book facilitated my career change from lawyer to novelist and has always held a special place in my heart. Now, good old Jake can help a cause that’s also dear to me.

I will donate all proceeds of “To Speak for the Dead” to the Four Diamonds Fund, a charity that pays for treatment of pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. In addition to providing world-class medical care, the Fund supports research in immunotherapy, carcinogenesis, and several other fields I can barely spell, much less understand.

In basic terms, the Fund helps sick kids. I don’t know a more worthy cause.
I’m hoping that the e-book will sell for years, bringing enjoyment to readers and support to a life-saving cause. Hoping, too, that others will be moved to directly contribute.

Here’s a little background about the Fund. In 1972, a 14-year-old boy named Christopher Millard was an aspiring writer. Or rather, he was already a writer. He’d penned a mythic tale about “Sir Millard and The Four Diamonds,” in the tradition of Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot. What are those Four Diamonds? Wisdom. Courage. Honesty. Strength. All are needed in our daily lives, especially in children’s battles with a dread disease.

You have probably figured out that Chris wrote the story while in the throes of cancer. The diamonds of his story were allegorical. The quest was for life itself. After a three-year battle, Chris died, but his memory lives in the name of the Fund established by his family.

Penn State students have contributed an astonishing $61 million to the Fund through their annual dance marathon. This year’s event raised $7.8 million alone. The motto of “Thon” is “For the kids.” And that, too, is the dedication of “To Speak for the Dead.”

Even if you don’t own an e-reader, you can download the book to your laptop or desktop. So, if you’d like a “breathlessly exciting” read (Cleveland Plain Dealer) or a “genuinely chilling” one (Washington Post), please give it a try. For a limited time, the book is only $2.99. Purchase information here:

One last thing. If each of us can contribute – just a bit – of courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength, maybe we can reach the goal of Conquering Childhood Cancer.

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